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Photo credit: Southern California Gas CompanyABAG POWER (ABAG Publicly OWned Energy Resources) is a joint powers agency formed in collaboration with many Bay Area cities, counties, and special districts. In a time of rapidly evolving energy markets, the objective of the JPA was to provide leadership for local governments in the areas of energy procurement and energy management. Currently, ABAG POWER's primary objective is to conduct pooled purchasing of natural gas on behalf of local governments and special districts who voluntarily join the Pool. The program enables members to achieve competitive pricing from suppliers who are interested in larger and more attractive combined loads.

The Pool is currently in its twentieth year of operation, and is serving nearly forty member agencies throughout PG&E's service territory. The goals of the natural gas purchasing pool are:

  • Price Stability. The Program's gas purchasing strategy and cost allocation methods are designed to give members a reasonable degree of certainty of the costs to be shared.
  • Cost Savings. The Program attempts to provide gas procurement services for less than the equivalent services provided by the default provider (e.g. PG&E).

Previously, ABAG POWER also operated an electric aggregation program that was ultimately suspended in 2001 due primarily to the volatility in the electric energy industry. We continue to monitor the regulatory landscape to judge the viability of future electric aggregation programs, especially in light of the State legislature's passage of the Community Aggregation bill (AB117). In addition, ABAG is involved in energy and water efficiency (BayREN) and resilience (ABAG's Resilience Program) programs that provide related benefits to members.

Who is eligible to join ABAG POWER?

At this time, ABAG POWER is principally interested in aggregating public agency loads only. Current members include local governments and special districts. In addition, prospective members must be within PG&E's service territory.

What level of commitment is required to join ABAG POWER?

Local governments and special districts may join ABAG POWER by executing the Joint Powers Agreement. No commitment to purchase electricity or natural gas is necessary to join ABAG POWER. Once a member of ABAG POWER, an agency may join the natural gas pool by signing the Natural Gas Aggregation Agreement.

What range of services does the natural gas program offer?

ABAG POWER offers natural gas purchasing, commodity management (i.e., nominations, balancing, storage, and pipeline rebrokering), and consolidated billing services. Distribution, meter reading, routine service, and emergency response continue to be provided by PG&E.

What are the benefits of participating in ABAG and/or ABAG POWER?

In addition to the goals of price stability and cost savings, gas pool members can rely on POWER to monitor regulatory and legislative proceedings and to evaluate new purchasing options as they develop.

Members also own and operate the Pool. Through each member's designated representative, members have input into POWER's purchasing decisions, administrative costs, and billing procedures—critical factors which affect both performance and customer satisfaction.

Third, ABAG provides an array of intangible resources by convening multiple agencies within the region, and is working to expand sustainability and energy management services to local jurisdictions through the implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and general sustainability programs. These efforts have produced powerful and effective results, evident in the creation of the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN), multiple Energy Watch partnerships, installation of electric vehicle parking infrastructure, and more.

Other Questions?

For further information, contact rjacoby@bayareametro.gov


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